BREAKING: CCT Adjourns Justice Onnoghen’s Trial To January 22

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The Danladi Umar-led three-man Code of
Conduct Tribunal on Monday adjourned
proceedings involving the charges of non-
declaration of assets preferred against the Chief
Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, till
January 22
Umar ruled that the tribunal would hear
Onnoghen’s motion challenging the jurisdiction
of the tribunal at the next proceedings.

The tribunal adjourned the case after the lead
prosecuting counsel, Mr. Aliyu Umar (SAN),
conceded that Onnoghen was improperly served
with the charges and the summons.
Umar conceded that the CJN was not personally
served with the charges and the court’s
summons, as required by the law.

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He, therefore, requested the three-man tribunal
led by Danladi Umar to direct a fresh service on
the CJN.
Onnoghen was absent from the Monday’s

Upon an inquiry by the tribunal chairman about
Onnoghen’s absence from court, the defence
team led by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), said
the CJN needed not to be present, having filed
a motion to challenge the tribunal’s jurisdiction.

Olanipekun said he and other defence lawyers
only appeared in court in protest against the
jurisdiction of the tribunal.

He also said that, from the account given by
the court official earlier in the proceedings, the
CJN was not served with the charges and and
summons personally, but through his aide.

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Olanipekun insisted that the law requires that
the defendant be served personally.
But the prosecuting lawyer said the law only
requires the defendant to be aware of the
pending charges, and that it was the CJN’s
choice to ask his aide to receive the charges
and summons on his behalf.
But after a back-and-forth argument that went
on for about 45 minutes, the prosecuting
counsel conceded that the service of the
charges and the summons ought to have been
personally served on Onnoghen.

“By what the registrar has said, although the
defendant was the one who directed his
personal assistant to accept service on his
behalf and what the law says is that he must be
personally served.

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“We agree that that the service should be
properly done. The processes should be served
personally on him.

“If, after the service is done, and the defendant
is not present, we can then argue whether or
not he needs to be present on the grounds that
he has filed a motion challenging the jurisdiction
of the court.”

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About James Ezema, Abuja

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